Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Velvet #7 Review (Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting)


I wonder if it’s worth reviewing Velvet anymore - I think the only review needed would be the one to let everyone know when (or if) the standard has slipped because so far Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting are 7 for 7 on this series. 

It’s brilliant - go read it! Need more? Alright… 

This is the first issue without Velvet in it. She appears in one flashback scene but the place we left her in the last issue is where she still is. Instead, this issue follows two agents, Colt and Roberts, who’ve been tasked with hunting her down.

The first half of the issue follows Colt and opens in a similar way as Mission Impossible 4 did, with a spy leaping off a building (or through a window in this case), turning and shooting his pursuers before landing on his back (albeit without an expanding pillow). Colt is pursuing the smokescreens Velvet’s set up - which trail in which country is the right one? Except he’s slowly wising up to what she’s doing which leads to a new though: is she a cold-blooded killer - or is she investigating, which would mean she might’ve been set up by someone? 

The second half of the issue with Roberts is essentially more of the same though he’s the one who figures out Velvet has returned to London - too late! 

Brubaker’s writing is near-flawless in this issue. The dialogue is snappy and convincing, the inner monologues are compelling and succinct, conveying two different personalities effortlessly, and the comic is perfectly paced with a fantastic cliffhanger. He makes it look easy and yet this kind of ambitious genre tale is so difficult to pull off right. Full marks to Mr Brubaker! 

Steve Epting continues to impress with his art. In the same way that it doesn’t need to be said that Velvet is an amazing series, it should go without saying that Epting is an incredible artist and his work on this title has been nothing short of a career best. The action scenes, the exotic locations, it’s all handled expertly in every panel, on every page. Also, a hat tip to colourist Elizabeth Breitweiser for giving Epting’s pages such a vibrant, eye-catching look. 

The second arc of Velvet sees Brubaker and Epting building upon the successes of the first book to make The Secret Lives of Dead Men an even more exciting spy thriller. It’s simply outstanding stuff from this creative team - Velvet #7 is an awesome comic. Check it out!

Velvet #7

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